Dr. Mark’s Blog

Dr. Mark Porter is an NHS GP and award winning journalist, investigating and reporting on the latest developments in medicine. Mark is the medical correspondent at The Times, and columnist for Saga Magazine.

Opioids – 5 things everyone taking should know

Published courtesy of The Times where this article originally appeared in September 2019. Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted is an occupational hazard in medicine where the risks of an intervention may only become apparent many years later.  And the...

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A pragmatist’s guide to looking after your heart

You are only as old as your arteries. Much as we all like to look good on the outside, it’s the state of our circulation that will largely determine how long most of us live – and how enjoyable those extra years are.

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New NICE guidance on HRT – key changes (2015)

NICE has released its long awaited guidance on the use of hormone replacement therapy in women (HRT) and it includes a few changes that are likely to see more women being offered it / considering it. I have summarised some key points

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An insider’s guide for treating colds and flu – courtesy of The Times 15.12.15

It has been a tough week for ibuprofen and paracetamol. An Australian court has ordered the manufacturers of Nurofen to withdraw a number of products because of misleading claims about efficacy. And, as reported in yesterday’s Times, researchers in New Zealand have just published a study suggesting that paracetamol doesn’t alleviate many of the symptoms of flu.

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Blood in your urine (haematuria)

Cancers of the kidney and bladder kill nearly as many people in the UK as breast cancer yet they have nothing like its profile, and the cardinal sign of trouble – blood in the urine – isn’t always taken as seriously as it should be.

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Testosterone replacement for men – my views

Testosterone deficiency, or low-T as it is popularly known in America, has long polarised medical opinion. Testosterone evangelists promote it as the panacea to middle-aged woes like poor sex drive, grumpiness and lack of energy, while at the other extreme sceptics regard supplementation as the unacceptable medicalisation of natural ageing. But who is right?

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